Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

In one year, 26 denunciations of wrongdoing were made, much more than in other ministries.

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Quebec Minister of Families, Suzanne Roy

  • Thomas Gerbet (View profile)Thomas Gerbet
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    What is happening at the Quebec Ministry of Families? One of the government's smallest ministries received a record number of whistleblower reports last year, its annual management report reveals.

    In 2022-2023, a total of 26 disclosures of wrongdoing were recorded for as many different reasons. The previous year, the department received one disclosure, and the year before that, zero.

    The large number of whistleblowers at the Ministry of Family also contrasts with other ministries. Last year, there were two disclosures to the Department of Immigration and only one to the Department of Transport. Elsewhere: zero.

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    The Act to facilitate the disclosure of wrongdoing against public bodies has existed since 2017. The former agronomist from the Ministry of Agriculture Louis Robert is the best known of the civil servants to have used it.

    The person making the report has the assurance, by law, that their identity is protected and that the nature of their report is also protected. This is why the Ministry of Family was only able to give us few details.

    According to the report, 7 of the 26 disclosures received were found to be substantiated. At least one concerns a contravention of a law or regulation, at least one concerns misuse of funds or property of a public body and at least one concerns mismanagement within a public body, including abuse of authority.

    A disclosure transferred to UPAC

    A disclosure has been transferred to an agency responsible for preventing, detecting or suppressing the crime or offences, the report reads. According to our information, this is the Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit (UPAC), but the ministry does not want to confirm this.

    Ministry whistleblowers can also disclose breaches of ethical standards or an act or omission that risks serious harm to health, safety or the environment. , but this was not the case in the disclosures received by the Ministry of Family last year.

    The 26 disclosures concern subsidized educational childcare services.

    A quote from Wendy Whittom, spokesperson for the Quebec Ministry of the Family

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    Subsidized childcare services include early childhood centers (CPE), subsidized daycare centers as well as recognized family daycare services.

    It It is not only civil servants who can denounce wrongdoing, explains the ministry. Anyone from the childcare network or the public can do so.

    The ministry explains the explosion of denunciations by clarifications made on its website, in particular by wanting to reassure in the face of the risks of reprisals for state employees.

    Despite the large number of denunciations, the ministry ensures that its services are not overloaded and are processing all files according to the planned deadlines.

    Do you have information about these denunciations?

    Write to our journalist in complete confidentiality at thomas.gerbet@radio-canada.ca.

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